"Gangster at Rainbow Lake" by Pat and Tom Willis, photo of display taken 2/2009. Click on the image to enlarge the display. Gangster at Rainbow Lake

Local lore has it that Jack “Legs” Diamond, notorious gangster and bootlegger, had a hideout on Rainbow Lake where the “Wawayonda” Brett camp later was located. Called "Legs" for his dancing ability, he was able to access and escape pursuers, whether police or rival gangs, by boat through the camp’s double opening to both the Rainbow Flow and to Clear Pond. He is reputed to have kept a float plane there as well.

Legs came to Saranac Lake some time around 1929-1930 to bring his brother Eddie, sick with TB, for treatment at the Trudeau Sanatorium. Legs was a contemporary and rival of “Dutch” Schultz, another gangster who spent time in Dannemora prison. Legs was arrested many times, evading prison by paying off police, witnesses, and juries. He was a violent man, reputed to have killed 30 people. He himself survived being shot four times by other gangsters, but was finally shot and killed by the gangs while in a drunken sleep in 1931 at age 34.

See also Eddie Diamond

Brighton History Days have been held one weekend each summer since 1994, sponsored by the Brighton Architectural Heritage Committee.